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Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

Ciampaglia GL, Lozano S, Helbing D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG).We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically.Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Power is the ability to influence others towards the attainment of specific goals, and it is a fundamental force that shapes behavior at all levels of human existence. Several theories on the nature of power in social life exist, especially in the context of social influence. Yet, in bargaining situations, surprisingly little is known about its role in shaping social preferences. Such preferences are considered to be the main explanation for observed behavior in a wide range of experimental settings. In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG). We modify the payoff structure of the standard Ultimatum Game (UG) to investigate three situations: two in which the power balance is either against the proposer or against the responder, and a balanced situation. We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically. Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed. This finding suggests that social preferences may be invariant to the balance of power and confirms that the role of power on human behavior deserves more attention.

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Probability of acceptance as a function of proposed workload and power treatment.Error bars are 95% Agresti-Coull approximate confidence intervals. We find monotonic acceptance rate, except for few hyperfair offers in the “balanced” treatment. Different treatment elicit different bargaining behaviors.
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pone-0099039-g004: Probability of acceptance as a function of proposed workload and power treatment.Error bars are 95% Agresti-Coull approximate confidence intervals. We find monotonic acceptance rate, except for few hyperfair offers in the “balanced” treatment. Different treatment elicit different bargaining behaviors.

Mentions: Compared with the traditional UG, varying the balance of power has thus dramatic consequences on the observed bargaining behavior. In particular, the somewhat surprising rejections for hyperfair offers () mentioned above have occurred in the “Balanced” situation, which could be explained as a form of inequality aversion (see Fig. 1). In line with our predictions, we found that different balances of power of the three treatments led to different sharing behaviors (5.28, ). Figure 4 shows the breakdown by experimental treatment. In the balanced treatment (left panel), for example, the highest lower bound on the probability of acceptance does not correspond to the fair split but is attained for . Moreover, almost no offer below 40% was made. In the other two treatments fair splits still correspond, in terms of lower bound, to the modal rate of acceptance, but, besides this detail, the distributions look very different from each other. In the weak responder case, the most advantageous offers for the proposers () were made more often ( vs ), compared to the weak proposer case, and almost no offer ( vs ) was observed in the range of moderately advantageous splits () which is usually observed experimentally in the standard UG with no power.


Power and fairness in a generalized ultimatum game.

Ciampaglia GL, Lozano S, Helbing D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Probability of acceptance as a function of proposed workload and power treatment.Error bars are 95% Agresti-Coull approximate confidence intervals. We find monotonic acceptance rate, except for few hyperfair offers in the “balanced” treatment. Different treatment elicit different bargaining behaviors.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048244&req=5

pone-0099039-g004: Probability of acceptance as a function of proposed workload and power treatment.Error bars are 95% Agresti-Coull approximate confidence intervals. We find monotonic acceptance rate, except for few hyperfair offers in the “balanced” treatment. Different treatment elicit different bargaining behaviors.
Mentions: Compared with the traditional UG, varying the balance of power has thus dramatic consequences on the observed bargaining behavior. In particular, the somewhat surprising rejections for hyperfair offers () mentioned above have occurred in the “Balanced” situation, which could be explained as a form of inequality aversion (see Fig. 1). In line with our predictions, we found that different balances of power of the three treatments led to different sharing behaviors (5.28, ). Figure 4 shows the breakdown by experimental treatment. In the balanced treatment (left panel), for example, the highest lower bound on the probability of acceptance does not correspond to the fair split but is attained for . Moreover, almost no offer below 40% was made. In the other two treatments fair splits still correspond, in terms of lower bound, to the modal rate of acceptance, but, besides this detail, the distributions look very different from each other. In the weak responder case, the most advantageous offers for the proposers () were made more often ( vs ), compared to the weak proposer case, and almost no offer ( vs ) was observed in the range of moderately advantageous splits () which is usually observed experimentally in the standard UG with no power.

Bottom Line: In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG).We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically.Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Power is the ability to influence others towards the attainment of specific goals, and it is a fundamental force that shapes behavior at all levels of human existence. Several theories on the nature of power in social life exist, especially in the context of social influence. Yet, in bargaining situations, surprisingly little is known about its role in shaping social preferences. Such preferences are considered to be the main explanation for observed behavior in a wide range of experimental settings. In this work, we set out to understand the role of bargaining power in the stylized environment of a Generalized Ultimatum Game (GUG). We modify the payoff structure of the standard Ultimatum Game (UG) to investigate three situations: two in which the power balance is either against the proposer or against the responder, and a balanced situation. We find that other-regarding preferences, as measured by the amount of money donated by participants, do not change with the amount of power, but power changes the offers and acceptance rates systematically. Notably, unusually high acceptance rates for lower offers were observed. This finding suggests that social preferences may be invariant to the balance of power and confirms that the role of power on human behavior deserves more attention.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus